Pygmalion & Galatea

Pygmalion & Galatea is the work of Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904), one of three paintings the artist made of this subject. According to the myth, it was Aphrodite who pitied Pygmalion and turned his statue into a living woman. The myth has inspired many artists and writers. It is intriguing to think: “what happened when she stepped off that pedestal?” It also made me think of Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein” in which a student by the name of Frankenstein creates a monster from corpses. The monster “…became the instrument of dreadful retribution on the student who usurped the prerogative of the Creator.” (Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, 2002). I’d suggest that both these works have much to teach us about art and life if we take a little time to consider them.